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15-10-2015

People in rental housing more likely to report housing problems

Renters were almost twice as likely to report a damp house problem as home owners in 2014, Statistics New Zealand said today. Just under half of renters reported they had a problem with dampness or mould, compared with around one-quarter of home-owners.

New analysis from the 2014 General Social Survey (GSS) shows that while only 7.1 percent of New Zealand adults felt their home needed urgent or major repairs or maintenance, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) said their home needed at least some work.

“Cold was the biggest problem reported, with one-third of people in single-parent families saying their homes were often or always cold,” acting household statistics manager Mark Gordon said.

“A major factor in whether people reported cold and damp was whether or not they were renting. Groups of people who were more likely to rent were also more likely to report problems.”

Perceptions of housing quality in 2014/15 found that as well as people in single-parent families, younger adults, Māori and Pacific people were all more likely to have problems with their homes.

Of Pacific people, 43 percent (more than 4 in 10) reported their homes were often or always cold, and 15 percent said they had a serious dampness problem. However, Māori were the most likely group to say extensive repairs were needed on their homes, at 13 percent.

Around 8 percent of people of prime working age (25–44 years) reported they needed extensive or immediate repairs on their homes. This was more than twice the rate for older people (65 years and over).

“Interestingly, when we looked at perceptions of housing quality across regions, we didn’t find much difference. However, people in the Northland/ Bay of Plenty/ Gisborne region, and those in Canterbury, were almost twice as likely to report their homes needed extensive or immediate repairs as people in Auckland,” Mr. Gordon said.

The two-yearly GSS surveyed almost 9,000 New Zealanders between April 2014 and March 2015 about different aspects of their lives and well-being. The findings aren’t directly comparable with earlier surveys. However, they show similar trends around housing as a previous Statistics NZ report on housing quality perceptions from the 2010 GSS.

Tags: rental housing

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